Xilinx repositions FPGAs with SoC move

Xilinx has started its most ambitious move to convert system-on-chip developers to its FPGA platforms with the latest generation Virtex and lower cost Spartan families.

The Virtex 6 and Spartan 6 FPGAs will lie at the heart of what Xilinx is calling targeted design platforms which will also incorporate new IP from Xilinx and third parties. Applications being targetted include automotive, consumer and wired/wireless communications to aerospace and defence.

“We are reaching the tipping point at which FPGAs become the prevailing silicon platform of choice for electronic manufacturers who need customisation to differentiate their products, but are faced with incredibly unattractive Asic development costs,” said Moshe Gavrielov, Xilinx president and CEO.

Using 40nm for Virtex 6 and 45nm for Spartan 6, the FPGAs use voltage scaling to cut power consumption by up to 50% compared with previous generations, according to the company.

With up to 760K logic density and more than 38Mbit of BlockRAM and 2,000 DSP slices, the FPGAs have been designed to offer a range of performance levels. In addition, the new families offer up to 64 GTH transceivers that run up to 11.2Gbit/s, enabling support for OTU (optical transport unit) specifications for the optical transport market, PCI Express-compliant hard blocks supporting root port functionality, and dedicated DDR3 memory controllers.

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